Don Lapre and Visions of Canals on Mars

I used to watch those late night infomercials back in the 90s when I was growing up. They were very inspirational for me. Don’s positive attitude and imaginative ideas about maximizing one’s potential really motivated me to pursue my dreams. When I was down and out more than once, I often thought back to those commercials and how Don, a high school dropout started with nothing “from his ONE bedroom apartment” but never gave up dreaming.

He sold these people some products and ideas. It’s not his fault if the people who bought it couldn’t make it work or if the business plan they purchased was flawed or outdated. The secret to making money with these sorts of multi-level marketing ideas has always been to sell multi-level marketing ideas. The reality is that one never needed to actually buy any of Don’s brochures or products in order to benefit. He tells you exactly how to do everything in the commercial. Of course, it’s after he’s already done it(presumably,) so the tricks won’t work as well anymore once everyone is using them. However, as a teenager who watched his original “tiny classified ads” cable infomercials in the long gone late night hours of summers past, flipping channels while waiting for some Shannon Whirry erotic thriller to start on Cinemax…I was able to learn some valuable marketing ideas without ever purchasing any of Don Lapre’s pamphlets. The days of classified print advertising have pretty much long been eclipsed by the internet. The principles though are still valid. You experiment with a few test ads using what little money you have(or no money if they are free,) and when you find one that works even just slightly, you duplicate it a thousand times over in as many similar venues as you can find. It’s the old “I don’t know how to make a million dollars, but I can tell you how to make $1 a million times.” Of course, 1-900 lines and such were already on their way out by the time Don started offering them. Once everybody has a 900 line and is placing thousands of classified ads, then suddenly the market is saturated and nobody will see the ads. To benefit from Don’s advice, is not to sell the same products he is promoting and magically be successful, but to apply the principles he advocates to your own ideas and products.

Back in the golden days of the internet and the dot com bubble, these techniques were easy to apply to internet search engines to generate traffic through creation of doorway pages etc. You would find one page that was able to rank high for a certain keyword, and then make hundreds of similar pages based around other keywords and direct them all to the same site. I still today make use of the basic guerrilla marketing tactics I learned from watching Don Lapre’s commercials whether it’s for promoting youtube videos/music/ books through craigslist and backpage or building up my social media networks and finding new fans. Everything that works in marketing only works until too many people are doing it, and then those holes begin to close. Then you need to pack up your methods and search for a road less traveled where you can begin to forge yourself a new path to success.

Anyway…nobody made these people purchase Don’s making money packages. These “fraud” charges are an abomination and actually a reflection of the mindset of those who always need to find a scapegoat in society. They can’t handle taking responsibility for their own bad business decisions. Really Don Lapre should be pardoned. Of course, being an mlm marketer and infotainment figure, he represents the perfect easy target for the demagogues in the media and their allies, the “lynch mob lemmings” known to Ayn Rand as the parasitic collective masses. No elected official would have the balls to pardon someone in that industry even though it would be the right thing to do.

Don Lapre helped a lot of people. Even if his money making ideas were flawed and many individuals were unable to capitalize on them literally…… just like visions of canals on mars or Erich Von Daniken’s ancient astronaut theories,  Don set fire to the imaginations of people and inspired them to get off their asses and seek out new frontiers.

You would never see this many people bothering to show support for a guy who sold “making money packages” and so called “get rich quick” schemes unless he was a genuinely great guy with a heart of gold. It’s a testament to his character and the positive impression he has left on those he has known or in my case, never known. Good luck, Don!

http://www.freedonlapre.com

Empathy Test

Holden: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of the sudden-
Leon: Is this the test now?
Holden: Yes. You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down-
Leon: What one?
Holden: What?
Leon: What desert?
Holden: It doesn’t make any difference what desert, it’s completely hypothetical.
Leon: But how come I’d be there?
Holden: Maybe you’re fed up, maybe you want to be by yourself, who knows? You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon, it’s crawling towards you-
Leon: Tortoise, what’s that?
Holden: Know what a turtle is?
Leon: Of course.
Holden: Same thing.
Leon: I’ve never seen a turtle — But I understand what you mean.
Holden: You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back Leon.
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can’t, not without your help, but you’re not helping.
Leon: What do you mean I’m not helping?
Holden: I mean, you’re not helping. Why is that Leon? — They’re just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. —

-Blade Runner

As I was lying in the bathtub reading an old astrology book, I noticed one of those small, harmless beetles crawling up the wall near the faucet… you know, the kind you often find on the carpet, and you think it might be a roach but upon closer inspection it’s too slow and bulky. Anyway, some water droplets had splashed around that area of the shower, and as a result the beetle slipped and landed on his back, his legs motioning helplessly in the air. I watched him for a few moments knowing he would not be able to turn over on his own and would surely die without my assistance. Being a person with narcissistic tendencies, I have been known to lack empathy in situations far more emotionally provocative than this, but not the guilt that goes along with being conscious of one’s lacking of said characteristic. Not wanting to touch a bug, I grabbed my toenail clippers and carefully maneuvered the handle in a way that gently flipped him back on his feet. He immediately resumed his trek up the wall and….. continued to fall repeatedly, landing on his back again several times. In each instance I helped him turn over right side up, but once I used a bit too much force and almost crushed the poor guy. All I could think was that this whole ordeal was probably futile, as soon I would be taking a full blown shower with the resulting blast of water likely to wipe him out like the lost city of Atlantis. Fast forward a few thousand years and twenty minutes later, he somehow emerged from the shower completely unscathed. I noticed today, that he was gone. Wherever that little beetle was headed, I hope he got there all right.

Back to the Future From 1985

I was able to recover my childhood guitar from a relative that I didn’t know still had it. It’s a Teisco(made in Japan.) I thought it was long gone. Just went and had it fully restored. So happy to finally have it back. Special thanks to the guys at Precision Guitar on 7th Ave who did a great job bringing this thing back from the dead. It was in remarkably good shape considering it had been lying on my uncle’s basement floor the last 15 years.